CHICAGO – After pulling Welington Castillo from Monday night’s 3-2 loss to the Baltimore Orioles, White Sox manager Rick Renteria praised the veteran catcher.
“That’s uncharacteristic of him,” Renteria said. “He’s always going to give you a lot of energy.”
Coming to the plate in the sixth inning with the Sox trailing, 3-2, and runners on second and third with no outs, Castillo popped out to Orioles first baseman Chris Davis. He obviously was frustrated, but Castillo did not run to first base.
In the seventh, Omar Narvaez was the Sox’s catcher. Renteria said it was important to bench Castillo.
“It’s setting the tone, not only for here but for the minor leagues,” Renteria said. “For me, it’s really simple. I’ve got to do this so everybody understands what we’re trying to do here.”
Castillo was unavailable for comment after the game.
“[Renteria] said in spring training he has to make an example of whoever doesn’t go by the rules,” said Sox starter Hector Santiago, who took the loss after allowing three solo home runs in six innings. “It’s for the young guys coming up, so they can know how to play the game hard, 27 outs. Who knows if [Castillo] runs down there and maybe distracts the first baseman and the ball falls in, you never know.”
The day after: Castillo was behind the plate Sunday when Reynaldo Lopez delivered his best major-league start.
In the Sox’s 3-0 win over Texas, Lopez pitched a career-high eight innings and didn’t allow a run while giving up two hits.
“He had really good life on his fastball,” Castillo said. “We were attacking the strike zone in and out with the fastball and changing speeds when we needed to change. That’s the type of guy that he is and we hope that he continues to pitch the way he did yesterday.”
After picking up his first win of the season, Lopez boldly claimed, “I’m the best. I’m not saying the other guys are not, I’m just saying that’s the confidence I have.”
Castillo also praised the 24-year-old righty.
“He can be really good,” Castillo said. “He’s blessed. God blessed him with the ability of the arm he has and the type of pitcher that he is. He just has to continue to work hard and perform out there.”
Help wanted: With Avisail Garcia (hamstring) and Nicky Delmonico (fractured hand) on the disabled list and expected to be sidelined until at least late June, the Sox desperately need outfield depth.
On Monday, they signed Michael Saunders and assigned the 31-year-old outfielder to Triple-A Charlotte.
Last week, Saunders asked for and was granted his release from Triple-A Norfolk, the Orioles’ top minor-league team. In 25 games, Saunders batted .161 with one home run and 14 RBIs.
A veteran of nine seasons with Seattle, Toronto and Philadelphia, Saunders was an All-Star in 2016 while batting .253 with 24 homers and 57 RBIs for the Blue Jays.
Around the horn: Dylan Covey gets the start for the Sox on Wednesday night against Baltimore. The right-hander started Game 2 of a doubleheader at Kansas City on April 28 and allowed four runs on seven hits and three walks in six innings … Tim Anderson drew his 14th walk Monday, a career high. The Sox’s shortstop had 13 walks last year and in 2016 … Double-A Birmingham catcher/designated hitter Seby Zavala was placed on the disabled list with a nagging wrist injury. Zavala leads the Southern League with 10 home runs.